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My male Shepard has been trying to be a general nice guy to Steve Cortez, maybe a little too much, encouraging him to take shore leave "for me" and encouraging him to visit the refugee remembrance wall. Now he's asking me out for drinks and I need to let him know I'm not that kind of guy without destroying my paragon points.

Additionally Liara, who was warming up to me, hasn't had a dialogue option for some time now and Traynor has been all business.

Is my friendship with Steve killing my chances with the girls?

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Don't take it personally with Traynor, she doesn't seem to swing your way – juan Mar 15 '12 at 15:25
The romance interactions are super-complex, so I don't really feel comfortable answering this authoritatively. However, if you turn Steve down once, you'll permanently remove him as a romance option, and there's no Paragon/Reputation hit for doing so. Liara moves really slowly - but make sure you check in with her frequently, especially on the Citadel. – agent86 Mar 15 '12 at 15:29
up vote 32 down vote accepted

When you go to the club with Cortez, he will mention that he's "checking out the eyecandy". After he says this, you have two dialog options:

"I'm eyecandy too" or "The eyecandy on stage is good enough for me".

Choosing the second one will let him know that you're not gay, without hurting his feelings, and you'll stay good friends, which will allow you to pursue other interests.

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He actually takes it rather well, so don't worry about mashing that lower right dialog option. – MBraedley Mar 15 '12 at 15:57
If you've already resumed an existing relation with Liara at this point, you can actually pick the first answer without negative effects : Cortez will simply tell ou something along the lines of "you're eyecandy, but you're not available, no hard feelings". – Bethor Mar 15 '12 at 17:00

No. Cortez thinking you're interested in him will have no effect on your chances of romancing the other potential candidates (except Traynor since she bats for the home team).

Like the previous titles, you will reach a point where you tell your potential suitor that you just aren't into them like that. With Cortez, that time is, ironically enough, when you go have drinks with him at Purgatory.

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